April 2017

Business Matters: Protecting Your Business From Ransomware; Managing Your Cybersecurity Risk

Not so long ago, cybersecurity was something title agents and underwriters considered the domain of the big banks and other high-profile financial institutions. Today, the mortgage and settlement services industry—like virtually every other industry—is clearly under attack.
Phishing scams targeting homebuyers have become so commonplace that the FTC issued a warning earlier this year. Ransomware, which locks up the computer systems necessary to execute the time-sensitive mortgage transactions, are causing damage to title agents’ reputations—not to mention the reputations of the other entities involved in the transaction.
Read "How the Title Industry Can Manage Cybersecurity Risk" (ALTA) »
If there is one major cybersecurity lesson our industry has learned recently, it was this: Ransomware is here, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.
Ransomware is a type of malware that severely restricts access to a computer, mobile device or file until the demanded fee is paid by the victim. Often, it arrives in the form a phishing email or message and begins its foul work as soon as it reaches your system. Regardless, victims are presented with a hefty ransom to regain access or you can kiss it all goodbye.
Read "Ransomware Is a Repeat Offender" (Forbes) »

Meet the New TLTA Website

Thank you again for your patience during our recent website refresh! Now that the site has been revamped, we hope you will take a moment to explore it if you haven't already. Please note that registration for all Educational programs – including webinars, On-Demand programs and events – is working.

If you have any difficulty navigating the updated site or see any errors, please let us know immediately by calling 512.472.6593 or emailing tlta@tlta.com.
We hope you enjoy using the new site!

Mary Belan Doggett Joins National Investors as Vice President, Texas Underwriting Counsel

National Investors Title Insurance Company | April 4, 2017
Mary Belan Doggett has joined National Investors Title Insurance Company as Vice President, Texas Underwriting Counsel. Prior to joining National Investors, she was a named partner in Harrison Doggett & Duncan, PLLC, then Vice President and General Counsel with Propel Financial Services, LLC. She received her Juris Doctorate from St. Mary's University School of Law and her Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Biology and General Business from Stephen F. Austin State University. In addition, she has repeatedly been named by Texas Monthly and Scene in SA magazines as a "Super Lawyer."

Evelyn Hardwick Promoted to Senior Vice President/Branch Manager at Republic Title

Republic Title of Texas, Inc. | April 13, 2017
Evelyn Hardwick has been promoted to Senior Vice President/Branch Manager of the Lakewood office at Republic Title of Texas, Inc. In her new role, she will be responsible for total branch performance, including escrow, title and customer service for the branch. Evelyn has been in the title industry for over 35 years. She most recently served as Residential Escrow Officer at the Lakewood office.
Read the Press Release »

Leslie Midgley Marks 35 Years at TLTA 

Texas Land Title Association | April 20, 2017
TLTA would like to extend our warmest wishes to Leslie Midgley on her 35th anniversary at the association!
Leslie joined TLTA in 1982 and worked her way up through the organization, serving as Administrative Director and then Vice President of Operations before being named Executive Vice President and CEO in 2001. In reflecting on this milestone, she had this to say: "It has been an absolute honor to serve the TLTA membership over the last 35 years. I’ve established so many treasured friendships over the years, and I look forward to continuing to represent this fine industry in the years ahead."
In the words of members who have worked closely with her:
"Leslie Midgley is the smile in the room that everyone knows, no name tag needed. She is a friend to all, a calming voice on any issue, and the real leader that has always made every TLTA President look good."
– Brian Pitman, TLTA President 2010-11
"Leslie is a very sought-after executive officer, and I’m grateful for the opportunity of working alongside of her and a very talented staff. Her tenure at TLTA over the last 35 years speaks volumes of her dedication to the well-being of the title industry. Thanks, Leslie, for a job well done!"
– Randy Pittman, TLTA President 2012-2013
Congratulations again, Leslie!

Staffing News: Survey Results on Staffing, Recruiting Challenges Released; More Young Talent Needed in Mortgage Finance

On Friday, new data came out regarding staffing and recruiting challenges seen by C-level executives in a recent survey on mortgage leaders. Among the primary concerns will be finding top field sales agents and developing the leaders to manage them while ensuring optimal integration with acquirers, along with retaining those team members most valued.
Read "Shaping Tomorrow's Mortgage Leaders" (DS News) »
In the words of Anthony Hsieh, chairman and CEO of loanDepot, at the Goldman Sachs housing and consumer finance conference, “We've got to make mortgages cool again.”
Hsieh noted this after explaining that technology is the new barrier to entry into starting a mortgage business. The industry needs to try and reset the image of housing, he said, especially since mortgage companies need to hire more tech developers into order to compete.
 Read "Dear Lenders, We Need More Young Talent in Finance" (HousingWire) »

Upcoming Webinars

TLTA is scheduling several live webinars for spring 2017. Register now, or reserve your On-Demand version today!